Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Holman v. Lee Memorial Health System

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

July 24, 2019

LESLEY HOLMAN, DOMINGO PEREZ TROY and MARIA PEDRO RUPERTO, as plenary guardian of Viviana Pedro, Plaintiffs,
v.
LEE MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [1]

          MAC R. MCCOY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pending before the Court are:

1. Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint and to Restyle the Case Caption, filed on May 6, 2019 (Doc. 76);
2. Defendant's Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint, filed on May 13, 2019 (Doc. 77);
3. Plaintiffs' Reply to Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 81); and
4. Defendant, Lee Memorial Health System n/k/a Lee Health d/b/a Gulf Coast Medical Center's [sic] Sur-Reply to Plaintiffs' Reply to Defendant's Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint, filed on June 3, 2019 (Doc. 84).

         These matters are fully briefed and ripe for the Court's consideration. In short, Plaintiffs seek leave to file a Second Amended Complaint that, inter alia, contains a restyled case caption because: (1) certain named defendants were dismissed from this case and should be removed from the case caption; and (2) Plaintiffs wish to include causes of action for vicarious liability against the remaining hospital defendant, Lee Memorial Health System n/k/a Lee Health d/b/a Gulf Coast Medical Center (“Lee Health”), under theories of actual and apparent agency because of any negligence attributed to the dismissed defendants. (Doc. 76 at 2). Plaintiffs attached a redacted copy of the proposed Second Amended Complaint as Exhibit “1” to the motion sub judice. (See Doc. 76-1). Lee Health opposes any amendment, arguing that Plaintiffs have not satisfied Fed. Rs. Civ. P. 15 or 16. (Doc. 77).

         For the reasons below, the Undersigned respectfully recommends that Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint and to Restyle the Case Caption (Doc. 76) be DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         A brief review of the relevant procedural history of this case is instructive. This action was initiated on or about February 5, 2018. (Docs. 1, 9-10). Defendant Lee Health filed its Answer and Affirmative Defenses on March 12, 2018. (Doc. 15). Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on May 2, 2018. (Doc. 50). Defendant Lee Health filed its Answer and Affirmative Defenses to the Amended Complaint on May 15, 2018. (Doc. 59).

         On May 8, 2018, the Court entered a Case Management and Scheduling Order following a Preliminary Pretrial Conference held before the Undersigned on the same date. (See Docs. 54-55). The Order established a June 11, 2018 deadline for filing any motions to add parties or to amend pleadings. (Doc. 54 at 1). In setting this deadline, the Court adopted the deadline that the parties jointly proposed in the Case Management Report they filed with the Court. (See Doc. 47 at 1). On January 29, 2019, the Court entered an Amended Case Management and Scheduling Order resetting certain remaining case-management deadlines as a result of the federal government shutdown. (Doc. 68). This subsequent Order did not re-set the then-expired deadline for motions to add parties or to amend pleadings. (See id.).

         On March 6, 2019, a Joint Stipulation for Dismissal with Prejudice as to Defendants Rosalie Pirrone, ARNP, Ricardo Bornacelli-Vergara, M.D., and Anesthesia & Pain Consultants of Southwest Florida was filed. (Doc. 69). On March 7, 2019, the presiding trial judge entered an Order dismissing those named Defendants. (Doc. 70).

         Based on the Amended Case Management and Scheduling Order, all expert disclosures and reports were exchanged by May 1, 2019, and the impending deadline for completing all discovery is October 7, 2019. (Doc. 68 at 1; see also Doc. 77 at 2 (confirming that “[e]xpert disclosure [sic] and reports have been exchanged pursuant to the Amended Case Management and Scheduling Order”)).

         Plaintiffs filed the instant motion seeking leave to file a Second Amended Complaint on May 6, 2019 (see Doc. 76), which is nearly eleven (11) months after the June 11, 2018 deadline specified in the original Case Management and Scheduling Order for filing motions to amend pleadings (see Doc. 54).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) provides that after a responsive pleading is served, “a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave” and “[t]he Court should freely give leave when justice so requires.” The decision whether to permit an amendment is within the Court's sound discretion. Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).

         However, “[w]hen a party files a motion for leave to amend a pleading after the applicable scheduling order deadline has passed, the party is in effect seeking to modify this deadline.” Coach Inc. v. Visitors Flea Mkt., LLC, 6:11-cv-1905-Orl-19GJK, 2012 WL 12905809, at *1 (M.D. Fla. June 11, 2012) (emphasis added; citing Sosa v. Airprint Sys., Inc., 133 F.3d 1417, 1419 (11th Cir. 1998)). Thus, an untimely motion for leave to amend a pleading requires an analysis of the good cause and excusable neglect standards in Fed. Rs. Civ. P. 6(b)(1)(B) and 16(b)(4). See Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B) (“When an act may or must be done within a specified time, the court may, for good cause, extend the time . . . on motion made after the time has expired if the party failed to act because of excusable neglect.”); Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4) (“A schedule may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent.”); Estate of Miller v. Thrifty Rent-A-Car Sys., Inc., 609 F.Supp.2d 1235, 1252 (M.D. Fla. 2009) (“[W]hen a party files a motion for leave to amend a pleading after the relevant scheduling order deadline has passed, the party must demonstrate both good cause and excusable neglect for the untimely motion.” (citing Fed. Rs. Civ. P. 6(b)(1)(B), 16(b)(4))). Only then does the court consider whether amendment is proper under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Sosa, 133 F.3d at 1419.

         The “good cause standard precludes modification unless the schedule cannot ‘be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension.'” Id. at 1418. Furthermore, with regard to excusable neglect, this Court has recognized that “Congress plainly contemplated that the courts would be permitted, where appropriate, to accept late filings caused by inadvertence, mistake, or carelessness, as well as by intervening circumstances beyond the party's control.” Estate of Washington v. Carter's Retail, Inc., 3:10-CV-1136-J-32TEM, 2011 WL 2731291, at *2 (M.D. Fla. July 13, 2011) (quoting Pioneer Inv. Servs. Co. v. Brunswick Assocs. Ltd. P'ship,507 U.S. 380, 388 (1993)). Determining whether a party has established excusable neglect “is at bottom an equitable one.” Pioneer Inv. Servs. Co., 507 U.S. at 395. The Supreme Court has identified four factors courts should consider: “(1) the danger of prejudice to the other party; (2) the length of the delay and its potential impact on the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.